Dell’s social media hub monitors and responds to online chatter

PC maker’s command center prioritizes the 22,000 daily mentions of its brand on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums and answers accordingly—in almost a dozen languages.

Think of it as the information-age version of NASA’s Mission Control Center: A cutting-edge “war room” where watchful eyes monitor information coming in on huge screens, ready at any moment to contact an engineer or a technical expert.

That’s what Dell had in mind in December when it launched its Social Media Listening Command Center, a room at its Round Rock, Texas, headquarters where six screens display information about all 20,000 conversations going on about the Dell brand in a given day. The employees who monitor the screens don’t respond directly to the conversations, but they make calls to the people who do.

“They’re the ones with the proverbial red phone there,” says Adam Brown, executive director of social media for Dell. “They can flip alarms and levers when they see something that needs to happen.”

Having that resource has helped Dell quickly respond to customers online and improve how they feel about the brand, Brown says. Plus, the technology that drives the command center is a “gold mine” of data, he says. The command center is such a big hit that another is set to open soon, this one in China.

‘A small portion’

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